Health is wealth

An ageing population, resulting from a longer life span and decreasing birth rate worldwide, has grown rapidly across the globe. To tackle this dramatic global demographic shift, there is an urgent need for biomedical innovation to open up new healthcare solutions for achieving a healthy ageing journey.

Technology plays a major role in medical product and service innovations. For example, mobile, microminiature and remote surgery techniques, DNA-based diagnostics, tissue-engineering and advanced information technology are all meant to provide solutions to some of the persistent and debilitating healthcare problems. Biomedical researchers, large-scale pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers and suppliers of medical devices and equipment are therefore exposed to vast market opportunities, from R&D to sales and marketing and production.

For R&D activities, the HKSAR Government has set up a designated research cluster to attract world-renowned institutions and entities to engage in the R&D of various healthcare-related technologies in Hong Kong to help bring biomedical research from bench to bedside.

Another breakthrough in Hong Kong’s biomedical research is the HKD1.2-billion Hong Kong Genome Project. The pilot phase was launched in 2021, helping 2,000 participants to look for the potential disease-causing genetic variants through Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) analysis. The Project is scheduled to complete 50,000 WGS analysis in the year 2025.

In the finance sector, the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the Exchange) helps strengthen Hong Kong’s biomedical ecosystem with its liberal regulations for listing pre-revenue biotech companies. This has marked an important milestone for Hong Kong to advance into an international finance platform for the biomedical sector.

Hong Kong’s biomedical sector can enjoy other advantages, such as robust intellectual patent protection and legal systems, a pool of professionals from top-tier universities and a strong capital market available in the city. Relevant businesses are also supported by different funding and incentives offered by the HKSAR Government, and the facilitation measures of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), enabling them to tap into the huge GBA and Mainland markets.

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